It appears as though basic car maintenance skills are currently missing in the western world, with a growing percentage of people lacking even the most rudimentary knowledge and understanding.
In the US, for example, some 36% don’t even know how to change a tyre, while similarly basic tasks such as changing oil are also alien to a large proportion of motorists.
In this article, we’ll focus on how you can successfully and safely change your tyre, while appraising some of the key considerations.
Safety Basics – Changing a Tyre Whole Out on the Road
The most challenging situation occurs when you have to change your tyre while out on the road, especially following a puncture or some other type of damage.
There are a couple of safety considerations to keep in mind here, particularly as it’s imperative that you’re parked in a safe spot (such as the hard shoulder on a motorway) before you start to change your tyre.
Then, you should take the time to evacuate the vehicle to optimise the safety of your fellow passengers, while ensuring that the hazard lights on the car remain switched on at all times.
After you’ve removed your spare tyre from the boot, we’d also recommend referring to a copy of the vehicle handbook to ensure that you’re working effectively and safely at all times.
Make Sure That You Have the Right Equipment
Whether you’re changing Michelin tyres on your car or some other brand, you’ll need to have a safe and legally compliant spare in your boot to operate effectively.
It’s also important that your car has the necessary tools and equipment to complete the job effectively, including a wrench, a wheel nut key (if locking nuts are fitted) and the car handbook for reference.
You should also have a wheel chock, which is designed to prevent the car from rolling and moving when jacked up to complete the repair.
Of course, you’ll also need a jack to safely elevate the car off the road ground and access both the tyre and the axle, along with a tyre pressure gauge to ensure that the new tyre is fully inflated.
Loosen the Wheel Nuts and Jack Up the Car
When it comes to actually changing the tyre, you should start by loosening the wheel nuts, which enables you to easily remove the tyre and replace it with a newer alternative.
Obviously, these nuts will then need to be refitted and secured safely, but only once the process has been completely finished.
When it comes to jacking up the car, you should note that all vehicles have dedicated jacking points. You’ll be able to locate these using your vehicle handbook, before aiming the jack at the side of the car and close to the punctured or damaged wheel.
We’d also recommend placing a small plank of wood under the jack to help stabilise it, before raising the vehicle slowly until the flat tyre is 10-15cm off the ground.